EWEB used the tactic of a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) for the first time to mitigate the risk of wildfires.Find Out More
This unique opportunity to reduce the infrastructure footprint and maintenance costs will also improve wildfire mitigation because less infrastructure means less chance of ignition or damage from a fire.Find Out More
We are working to ensure our systems are ready to perform through extreme heat. Check out tips and resources to help you stay safe and comfortable while conserving energy.Find Out More
At this rodeo, power poles take the place of bulls and electric workers stand in for cowboys.Find Out More
How has EWEB prepared to deliver power and water to all these athletes and spectators from around the world?Find Out More
Eugene Water & Electric Board Commissioners are looking to the future in an uncertain time.Find Out More
In 2022, residential rates increased for the first time in five years. Looking ahead, a variety of long-term critical projects coupled with short-term supply chain and inflationary pressures and a dynamic power supply market are likely to impact the prices customers pay for water and power.Find Out More
A new digital fire lookout tower will soon be able to spot small fires before they threaten communities and infrastructure in the upper McKenzie River Valley, thanks to a new ALERTWildfire camera installed Monday on a communications tower owned and operated by the Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB).Find Out More
As part of EWEB's relicensing requirements for the Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project, we are reducing the risk of birds colliding with electricity.Find Out More
It's called an FUV, a fun utility vehicle. And we are so having FUN! We are proud to have a small fleet of electric vehicles. Two to be exact.Find Out More
As a public utility, it is important EWEB check in with customers to see how we are performing. We invite you to share your feedback and opinions.Find Out More
EWEB is offering an updated suite of environmental programs designed for customers who want to save money, water and energy while taking their commitment to sustainability to the next level. At the same time, EWEB is also injecting $100,000 of additional funding into our solar photovoltaic (PV) program.Find Out More
On April 12, EWEB dispatched a two-person crew with a bucket truck to assist with repairs and restoring electric service for Columbia River Public Utility District, which serves customers in Columbia County, north of Portland.Find Out More
EWEB is moving forward with analyzing four options to remediate the Leaburg Canal, ranging from full decommissioning to complete restoration, with two options in between.Find Out More
As a public utility, owned by the people of Eugene, it’s important for us to be open and transparent with our customer-owners. The following State of the Utility Address, delivered by General Manager Frank Lawson at the March 1 EWEB Board meeting, highlights key events, accomplishments and challenges of 2021.Find Out More
Electrification is a term for upgrading technologies that run on fossil-fuels, like gasoline vehicles and natural gas heating, with alternatives that run on electricity, like electric vehicles and heat pumps.
Here in Eugene, where we are fortunate to have one of the cleanest power portfolios in the nation, electrification presents opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support climate recovery goals. But there are also potential impacts on power supply resources and local infrastructure.
In early 2020, EWEB initiated a two-phase study to help quantify the benefits and impacts of widespread electrification in our community. The purpose of the study is to inform future utility decisions related to electricity supply planning, customer programs and rate design.
The study focuses on electrification of passenger vehicles and existing buildings that use natural gas for space and water heating in EWEB's service territory and analyzes value from the perspective of the individual customer, EWEB ratepayers, and society as a whole.
Today approximately 90% of EWEB's power comes from carbon-free resources, making upgrading from gasoline and natural gas an effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are contributing to climate change.
EWEB's study concludes that Eugene residents could reduce community carbon emissions by 45% compared to 2017 levels, primarily through EV adoption. Aggressive changes across all sectors (including the natural gas sector by increasing use of Renewable Natural Gas), could lead to even greater carbon reductions—60% compared to 2017 levels.
It's important to note that building and vehicle electrification are only part of a larger community-wide decarbonization strategy. Other potential carbon reductions outside of this study include improving energy efficiency of buildings through upgrades to windows and insulation, replacing old heating and cooling system with a high-efficiency equipment, increasing use of bikes and other forms of micro-mobility, and reducing non-combustion GHGs (like methane leaks). All are key parts of the pathway to a low-carbon future.
EWEB's study analyzed the simple payback periods (upfront costs divided by annual savings) of transportation and building electrification and found that the most financially beneficial electrification opportunities come from electric vehicles and heat pump water heaters.
EWEB studied several kinds of space heating systems and found that different ducted heat pumps have trade-offs between upfront costs and carbon reduction. Without significant policy incentives, upgrading gas space heating systems to electric has a net cost to the customer over the equipment lifetime, making it less likely that customers will retrofit existing buildings. However, all the heat pump technologies studied deliver significant carbon reduction benefits, and some customers may feel that the climate benefits outweigh the costs. EWEB's study concluded that future incentives or mandates that alter the current economics could lead to higher levels of electrification and therefore greater carbon savings.
Technology improvements, regulatory policies and vehicle manufacturer trends are all driving significant adoption of electric vehicles. By 2040, 85-95% of the vehicles on the road could be electric. EWEB's study finds EVs provide benefits to vehicle owners, other electric ratepayers and society as a whole:
Upgrading from gasoline and natural gas to electric power can have beneficial effects on the price of electricity charged to EWEB customers, as increased electric revenues can be used to cover the fixed costs of the utility, reduce rates or pay for infrastructure investments.
However, under very high electrification scenarios, EWEB might have to purchase additional power resources or build additional infrastructure to meet electricity needs. While EWEB has near term capacity to handle additional load from electrification, we need to plan for long-term impacts to maintain affordability for our customers.
While EWEB's average load has declined since 2005, electrification has the potential to reverse that trend. The study finds that the pace of customer-driven electrification, if based on economic value alone, will be slow in the next decade, with EV adoption appearing to be the most likely and impactful. In the next several years, EWEB has enough surplus energy and adequate infrastructure to meet our customers' electrification needs and the upcoming Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) can help EWEB plan for the electricity supply needs of the future.
Managing peak electricity demand is a critical component of achieving climate recovery goals and keeping energy affordable for all customers.
Peak power—when the highest level of electricity is consumed in our region within a specific timeframe—is more expensive, affecting power supply and infrastructure costs and, ultimately, customer bills. The power supply during peak times also has higher greenhouse gas emissions, which contributes to climate change.
One key to managing peak impacts is to increase public and workplace charging during the middle of the day, shifting EV charging away from EWEB's existing 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. peaks. This can be done by increasing daytime public and workplace charging between the morning and evening peaks as well as shifting home charging to after 10 p.m. Increasing public or shared charging infrastructure can also be helpful for people without access to home charging such as customers who live in apartments.
EWEB is already engaged in some of this peak mitigation work. We offer a Level 2 charger rebate which can help our customers schedule their vehicle charging to after 10 p.m. In the upcoming year, we will be working with community partners to expand workplace and public charging infrastructure.
The study is part of EWEB's larger and ongoing Electricity Supply Planning (ESP) effort. Electricity Supply Planning includes a broad set of actions, such as evaluating power portfolio options, negotiating power purchase agreements, managing infrastructure, and developing customer products and services, all with the goal continuing to serve our community over the long-term with clean, affordable and reliable power. This electrification study helps EWEB understand our customer's demand for electricity in the future.
In 2022 EWEB will begin preparing our next Integrated Resource Plan, a process aimed at helping EWEB make decisions about long-term power generation resources. This electrification study will help us understand the potential impacts of electrification on those decisions.
4200 Roosevelt Blvd.
Eugene, OR 97402
Para asistencia en español llame al 541-685-7000, presione 9
Phone hours: 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.